Album of the Day: The Yardbirds (7/15/66)

51xkTogTHBL._SL160_Any band that included, at one time or another, guitar gods Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page is bound to put out some great rock music, and The Yardbirds lived up to expectations. Although the group’s run was short and punctuated with personnel changes, The Yardbirds created the bridge from R&B to blues-rock to psychedelia and, with Clapton, Beck and Page holding down the lead guitar spot, opened up the wide range boldly innovative uses for the electric guitar, including the use of extended solos, feedback, fuzz and reverberation. The band started out playing the R&B covers circuit in London in the early 60’s, and when Clapton joined in 1964, a shift toward blues-rock occurred. But Clapton was not thrilled with the pop-leanings of the band’s first hit single, “For Your Love,” and left to play the blues with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Beck replaced Clapton in early 1965, and wrote or co-wrote nearly all of the tracks on Roger The Engineer (released in the U.K. on July 15, 1966), the band’s first album of all original material and a forerunner and influencer of all of the British psych-rock albums to come. Roger is available for purchase as a CD or individual mp3 files on Amazon, or as iPod tracks on iTunes. A playlist for The Yardbirds is in the works for Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault.

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